Diary of the times of Charles II/Volume 1/Sir William Temple to Mr. Sidney, February 6


February 6th.

I had yours of the date with this about two days since, with one enclosed from the Prince, which I defer to answer for some reasons till next post. I have, however, communicated it to my Lord Sunderland, Mr. Hyde, and Mr. Godolphin, whom I found together the night I received it. They all seemed to think that it would in time come to measures with Spain; but that it could not go the pace his Highness desires. I am afraid their heads are too full to think so deep as he does of this affair, and wish our business will bear much thinking at all, for I never yet knew the time. If they cannot afford it, I know not who else can to any purpose, for they are certainly all the ministry that is among us, and I see nobody else that has any more mind to be in it than perhaps they have that anybody should.

My Lord Halifax is stolen down from Sir William Coventry's to Bufford, and none of his friends pretend to know whether he will come up any more. You hear a change is made in the Council, which happened while I was at Sheen. The enclosed will give you, I suppose, an account of it from one that is mightily concerned in the Prince's opinion upon it, and a great deal in yours. I doubt whether you will make your court well in allowing it here, for my Lord Sunderland rails at him, beyond all the rest of the four; and, indeed, I think against all the rest of mankind. And yet, I do verily believe, he meant no worse to the King in what he did, but could not break company so easily as you know others do. And the rest of them it seems were resolved upon it, with some others who shrank, ever since the King's speech to the Houses; and nothing could persuade them into the truth and sincereness of your business in Holland, because they thought it of so different a piece with all the rest. 'Tis to no purpose to tell you particulars, and perhaps the less you know the better; and if you knew nothing beyond instructions, 'twere not the worst. I had written you a long letter from Sheen, by Bridges, when he was to go away by frigate this day se'nnight; but when that failed, I sent to him to burn it. All his business is to dispose of my plate, which I doubt is all I am ever like to get of six thousand pounds the King owed me before he gave me this in part. The Duke is expected as soon as the winds will give him leave, for they say he has left the thoughts of coming by land, and they are very weary of Scotland; and, as I fear, with reason.

I am ever and truly yours.